The “Old Boys Club”

Countdown: 86 days to opening night

Win of the day: I love Garrison Hullinger.

Loss of the day: When are we going to have a sunny day in Portland?

Yesterday all of the interior designers and builders for the NW Natural Street of Dreams met for a series of meetings at the Home Builders Association of Metropolitian Portland (HBA) headquartered just off Bangy Road at Highway 217 and Interstate 5. We started at 10:00am with a interior designer meeting discussing upcoming furniture sales for the homes, charity recipients, and opening night. (Did someone say SALE?) The meeting followed with team photography of architects, builder and design teams for the 2011 Street of Dreams Magazine, (Smile, say cheese). A combined meeting with builders and designers followed discussing schedules, details, and logistics of the show. You wouldn’t believe details of the show that are easily overlooked as an attendee of the show. Where do that many people park? How many shuttles do you need per day to the site? Who is cleaning the houses each day? How much security people do you need and what date does that security begin? How do you handle appliance and furnishing load in? The list goes on and on. After over 35 years, and collectively over 2 million visitors, no one puts on a more successful home show in Oregon than the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland.

In many ways the HBA feels like my second home. I have been a member for only a few short years. I have had the pleasure of getting to know, and become great friends with some of the most amazing building professionals in Portland. Two years ago, I was nominated and voted onto the Board of Directors by the general membership – a great honor as an interior designer in a sea of remodelers and builders in the membership base. The organization is truly top-notch, and I have appreciated how the building associates have embraced me from the beginning. In some ways you might expect an “old boys club” in a home building organization, but in reality the organization is innovative, family-oriented, generous with local charities, and very active in building and developing better communities to live.

The logistic conversations at the meeting gave me flashbacks of my 2009 Street of Dreams experience, and I started to map out timelines of furniture and artwork load in, as well as final accessorizing of the home. During that time two years ago, a peer of mine was going through the same craziness, working on the build, design and installation of a Parade of Homes house in Vancouver.

Some interior designers are very secretive about their sources, business practices and finds. Some aren’t. I am of the latter variety, and I am honored to be friends with some of the most talented interior designers in Portland, Oregon who share the same “share” philosophy. One of them, my dear friend Garrison Hullinger, or ‘G’ as I call him, phoned me. He is recently back from a shopping and client trip in New York. It kind of ticks me off honestly, because my interior design life recently hasn’t been so fabulous. The minute I answer the phone and hear his voice, I forgive him for being so wildly successful this last quarter.

He greets me with his distinct h-ell-o and tells me he is reviewing his calendar for the next couple of months and asks when I will be accessorizing Cascade Splendor. “I would be happy to help with the finishing touches. I can block out as much time as you need me. I can place things as you would want them, and stay out of your way at the same time.”

What you may not know about Garrison is before he founded his firm Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, his experience includes styling for photo shoots for catalogues like Rejuvenation. He also merchandised at Williams Sonoma, and I can’t count the number of design articles in local magazines like Oregon Home and the Oregonian that he has been called into to style before the photographer arrived. (This always makes me giggle. An interior designer designs the project, then Garrison is hired to “tidy up” and style for the photo shoot.) Garrison has mad skills with accessorizing a home – not to mention his impeccable interior design eye.

But it gets better. Garrison is a saint too. He tells me he has thousands of dollars of awesome new, hot accessories locked up in a vault. Well, maybe not a vault, but he tells me to come over and see if I need any of it for the show. He has an amazing stash of accessories with Cascade Splendor written all over it. I honestly would marry that man if 1.) I wasn’t already married to Ben, the love of my life… and 2.) If his husband J didn’t mind.

Angela Todd Designs, working in conjunction with Steel Creek Homes, is currently building and furnishing Cascade Splendor a 5000 square foot home for the NW Natural 2011 Street of Dreams. The show will be held August 6th through August 26th, 2011. Follow our progress by subscribing to our blog, following us on Facebook, and/or following us on Twitter.

Angela Todd Studios For Custom Furnishings

Angela Todd

Owner & Principal Designer

Angela is the principal designer at her boutique interior design firm in Portland, Oregon. She is known for creating memorable backdrops that tell the story of fascinating and intricate lives.

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